A young child has died from the bacterial illness meningococcal disease.
The WA Health Department have reported the death of the child, who is the 12th person to develop the disease this year.
The department said it had identified close contacts of the child and provided them with information, and where appropriate antibiotics and a vaccine, to minimise the chances that the organism might be passed on to others.
The peak time for infection is July to September.
Meningococcal disease is a rare, life-threatening illness caused by a bacterial infection of the blood or the membranes that line the spinal cord and brain, and occasionally large joints.
Seventeen cases were reported last year, and the disease occurs more commonly in winter and spring. Invasive meningococcal infection is most common in babies and young children.
The signs to look out for are: (via Meningococcal Australia)
• lack of energy
• irritability or agitation
• a sore throat
Other symptoms include
•stiff or painful neck
•sensitivity to light
•twitching or convulsions
If anyone suspects meningococcal disease, they should see a doctor immediately and return if symptoms worsen.
Please be aware of the symptoms.
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